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Linguistics by Mind Map: Linguistics

1. Linguistics is guided by the three canons of science

1.1. Exhaustiveness -it strives for thorough examination of relevant materials

1.2. Consistency -that is, there should be no contradiction between different parts of the total statement

1.3. Economy -other things being equal, a shorter statement or analysis is to be preferred to one that is longer or more complex. '

2. Linguistics has two main purposes.

2.1. One is that it studies the nature of language and tries to establish a theory of language and describes languages in the light of the theory established.

2.2. The other is that it examines all the forms of language in general and seeks a scientific understanding of the ways in which it is organized to fulfill the needs it serves and the functions it performs in human life.

2.3. Six Traits of Human Languages

2.3.1. 1. Language is used to communicate.

2.3.2. 2. Language is composed of arbitrary signs.

2.3.3. 3. Language is hierarchically organized.

2.3.4. 4. Humans produce and perceive language using auditory, visual, and even tactile modalities.

2.3.5. 5. Language is unique to human beings.

2.3.6. 6. Humans are genetically endowed for language.

3. Important Distinctions in Linguistics

3.1. Important Distinctions in Linguistics 1

3.1.1. Descriptive approach is used to describe the fact of linguistic usage as they are, and not how they ought to be, with reference to some real or imagined ideal state

3.1.2. Prescriptive approach is a term used to characterize any approach which attempt to lay down rules of correctness as to how language should be used.

3.2. Important distinctions in Linguistics 2

3.2.1. Synchronic Linguistics synchronic linguistics, languages are studied at a theoretic point in time: one describes a ‘state’ of language, disregarding whatever changes might be taking place. (exploring contemporary use)

3.2.2. Diachronic Linguistics diachronic linguistics, languages are studied from point of view of their historical development – for example, the changes which have taken place between Old and Modern English could be described in phonological, grammatical and semantic terms. (examining of a linguistic phenomena or describing the language change over time )

3.3. Important distinctions in Linguistics 3

3.3.1. Langue is the language system shared by a community of speakers (language). Langue describes the social, impersonal phenomenon of language as a system of signs.

3.3.2. Parole is the concrete act of speaking in actual situations by an individual speaker (speech). Parole describes the individual, personal phenomenon of language as a series of speech acts made by a linguistic subject.

3.4. Important distinctions in Linguistics 4

3.4.1. Competence -is a person’s knowledge of his language, the system of rules which he has mastered so that he is able to produce and understand an indefinite number of sentences, and to recognize grammatical mistakes and ambiguities (langue). D. H. Hymes: communicative competence

3.4.2. Performance - is the actual realization of language knowledge, language seen as a set of specific utterances produced by language speakers, as encountered in a corpus (parole). M. A. K. Halliday: Linguistic potential and actual linguistic behavior

3.5. Important distinctions in Linguistics 5

3.5.1. Functionalism or Functional Linguistics refers to the study of the form of language in reference to their social function in communication. It considers the individual as a social being and investigates the way in which she/he acquires language and uses it in order to communicate with others in her or his social environment. *M. A. K. Halliday, Systemic functional grammar

3.5.2. Formalism or Formal Linguistics is the study of the abstract forms of language and their internal relations. It fixes on the forms of languages as evidence of the universals without considering how these forms function in communication and the ways of social life in different communities. *Noam Chomsky, Transformational-generative grammar

4. Use of Studying Linguistics

4.1. For a student language

4.1.1. To know the general properties of language can help the student to have an overview of human language, which in turn will stop him from asking unnecessary questions.

4.2. For a teacher or foreign language

4.2.1. He will benefit a great deal from the knowledge of linguistics.

4.2.2. He will learn about not only how language is pronounced or structured, but also how it should be presented to learners.

4.2.3. He will know not only how each level of the language system is related to other levels, but also how langrage is closely related to many things outside itself, such as the mind, the brain, and society, among other things

4.3. For a researcher

4.3.1. There is even more scope for displaying his abilities. First, there are various branches of linguistics, each of which is equally fascinating and challenging.

4.3.2. Secondly, linguistic research is going deeper and deeper, often from mere descriptions to logical and philosophical explanations.

4.3.3. Thirdly, linguistics is becoming more and more interdisciplinary, which means that it draws on the findings of other disciplines while it also sheds light on their research.

5. Scope of Linguistic


5.1.1. Phonetics is the scientific study of speech sounds. It studies how speech sounds are articulated, transmitted, and received.

5.1.2. Phonology is the study of how speech sounds function in a language, it studies the ways speech sounds are organized. It can be seen as the functional phonetics of a particular language.

5.1.3. Morphology is the study of the formation of words. It is a branch of linguistics which breaks words into morphemes. It can be considered as the grammar of words as syntax is the grammar of sentences.

5.1.4. Syntax deals with the combination of words into phrases, clauses and sentences. It is the grammar of sentence construction.

5.1.5. Semantics is a branch of linguistics which is concerned with the study of meaning in all its formal aspects. Words have several types of meaning

5.1.6. Pragmatics can be defined as the study of language in use. It deals with how speakers use language in ways which cannot be predicted from linguistic knowledge alone, and how hearers arrive at the intended meaning of speakers. PRAGMATICS = MEANING - SEMANTICS.


5.2.1. Sociolinguistics Sociolinguistics studies the relations between language and society: how social factors influence the structure and use of language.

5.2.2. Psycholinguistics Psycholinguistics is the study of language and mind: the mental structures and processes which are involved in the acquisition, comprehension and production of language.

5.2.3. Neurolinguistics Neurolinguistics is the study of language processing and language representation in the brain. It typically studies the disturbances of language comprehension and production caused by the damage of certain areas of the brain

5.2.4. Stylistics

5.2.5. Discourse analysis or Text linguistics

5.2.6. Computational linguistics

5.2.7. Cognitive linguistics

5.2.8. Applied linguistics